May 26, 2011


It's true, Ben and I are taking a lot of "risks" this year with me not going back to work, losing my benefits as well as decisions regarding my health, Anna's leg, etc. Although I wouldn't really call them risks in the supernatural realm since we prayed and heard God about each and every decision. However, I'm not one to pretend like I always walk with my spiritual eyes, so I have decided to claim this verse for our family this year:

They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
Psalm 112:7-8


(Banana Bean's 2 month photo shoot)

Melts my heart.

May 24, 2011

Two Months

Anna is two months old- weighing 7 1/2 pounds she wears newborn clothes but doesn't fit into 0-3 months yet. It's hard to believe she is the size of an average newborn at 2 months! Here is the 411:

If you smile and make faces at her, she will mimic you. She'll make cooing noises and will even stick out her tongue to copy you at times. She does not like to be held in the cradle 'baby' position and will promptly let out a wail of disapproval... sometimes but not usually she will tolerate being held over the shoulder. She would prefer to lay on her back on a mat or blanket so she can stretch her arms and kick her legs. Anna can play independently for a good bit without any problem. Her favorite thing to do is play with her hanging animals that chime when she hits them with her arm. She can grasp her hand around them but can't pick objects up yet. She also likes to be read to while lying down and touch the pages.

When she gets frustrated she likes to try and head-butt me. That's fun.

From the beginning she's had a ton of head, neck, leg, and arm strength. She can "nosedive" while grounded by using her head and arms to lift her entire lower body off the ground, and can hold her head up most of the time, though it bobs back and forth slightly. Daddy hopes she won't have "haybales" (big trapezius muscles), he he. She can move her head from side to side and hold it up while on her stomach, which makes it safer in case something happens to block her breathing.

Anna sleeps swaddled in her crib- her bedtime is around 6:30 and she wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30am. I wake her up to feed her before I go to bed and then she wakes up once in the night (sometimes twice but lately once). She fights taking naps during the day but this is a war of attrition and she is slowly giving in:) For now, our best chance for a good nap is swaddled her in the swing (a funny sight) or in the Moby.

(Anna doing her favorite thing- lying on a mat playing with her hanging chime toys)

We love you Anna bean!

May 22, 2011


Well, I've gotten, count it, ONE non-baby related thing accomplished in the last two months! Today while Anna was napping I finally got around to making homemade household cleaners. We have a small apartment and I got tired of toxic cleaning fumes permeating the place, and now that we have a little one, I wanted to find a better alternative. Almost everything I made used the following ingredients (plus water, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice which are not shown) and are completely non-toxic and OK if ingested.

I grabbed some empty spray bottles at Walmart. Normally I would shop around to find some good quality ones, but I don't have time to shop around these days, so Walmart will have to do. I also made a vegetable/fruit wash that's not included in the picture.

I used recipes from this site as well as one other. It felt good to toss those chemicals with the skull and crossbones and TOXIC labels strewn across them. Good riddance!

Eventually I will get around to making this as posted on my friend Sarah's blog. With all the laundry I'm now doing, it will definitley be worth it. I'm just waiting to use up what I already have.

May 15, 2011

The Many Sides

Ever since she was born, I would say that Anna had more personality than the average groggy-eyed sleep-and-poop newborn. Don't get me wrong, she did both sleep and poop... but she was strangely awake and expressive from the beginning (granted, I am the doting mother, but humor me anyways... :)

From day one, she was thinking deep thoughts.

Some said it was gas, but I knew better...

These thoughts continued (and dare I say increased) during the first week of life.

Don't let that smile fool you. Anna has many sides. While I still refuse to call her a 'difficult baby', she does have plenty of diva, I-want-it-my-way moments.

and she doesn't hesitate to let you know when she isn't happy.

She likes to kick back and relax like the rest of us...
(don't worry, we don't even have cable!)

Other times she wants to be the center of attention....

But either way, she always likes to be in the driver's seat.

It takes a lot to handle this one... but would I want it any other way?

What do you think, Anna bean?

May 14, 2011

Things I Love

This post is about a few things I can't live without. Ok, so I can live without them, but they certainly make life A LOT easier and more enjoyable. Maybe you will discover something for yourselves.

Deciding what to make is always my least favorite part of meal planning (besides grocery shopping). I think it's because I always feel like I made the same 'ol dishes and I quickly become tired of repetition. I discovered this amazing little magazine and it has changed my life! Do you ever get really discouraged looking through cooking magazines because the recipes are either 1) Too complicated 2)Require too many obscure ingredients or 3) Don't appeal to you? I typically have the same problem. Not with this magazine. I get one every month, and each edition has tons of recipes that are healthy, interesting, easy, and do NOT require a million ingredients. Plus they often use fresh ingredients and season with simple things like lime juice, lemon jucice, salt and pepper, etc. I use online recipes sometimes, but I like having something tangible to read in the kitchen without having to walk over to my computer to see the next step. So I love that the magazine is small and you can tear out any recipe you like and put it in a folder or binder, then flip through them when you are looking to cook a meal. Each page has one recipe only on it, so forget cutting out random shaped recipes and trying to fit them somewhere. Best $12 a year I've ever spent, for sure.

This was given to me as a gift. It's called the Itzbeen baby timer. It's genius and has been sooo helpful. I know you older readers may be thinking "all these newfound gadgets, when we were young we didn't have half the things you guys did and our babies turned out fine!" (direct quote from my mom :) This little gadget is SO simple and makes my life a lot easier because I have a terrible short term memory. Contrary to what it may seem, I don't keep the baby on a strict schedule or anything, and this is still very helpful. It has buttons you press when you last fed, changed, gave medicine or when the baby last slept/awoke. All you do is press the button and it starts a timer. So when you have no idea how long it's been since baby ate (and trust me, you won't if you're anything like me), you can just look at your little itzbeen and it tells you plain and simple. It's so small and clips onto your pants. It also has this awesome nightlight button for the middle of the night that gives off the perfect amount of light to see the baby but not wake her up. And the buttons glow so you can see in the dark when you are sleep deprived and have no idea if you last fed the baby 4 hours ago or 5 minutes ago. AND it has a little switch to remind you which side you last nursed on. Who would have thought this little thing would be so helpful? When we were in Atlanta and Athens for a week, I dont know what I would have done without it. Especially now that we are giving her medicine every 12 hours, I use the fourth button for this and don't even have to think about how long ago I gave it to her.  In conclusion, having this doesn't mean you keep your baby on a strict schedule ... but it comes in handy when you look at the timer and realize your newborn baby has been awake for FIVE straight hours because she thinks she should stay up all day long like an adult (fyi newborns should sleep most of the day and not be awake for more than a few hours at a time, max). It will help you with your sanity, trust me.

I hate removing stains. I hate scrubbing stains. I already have dry hands and I hate getting them wet for any other reason than is absolutely necessary. I have been using Oxi Clean powder to soak clothes in for a long time. It's brilliant. It's the only thing that gets out SET in stains- I mean clothes stained for several years, yes, it has gotten those out of my clothes. I just let it soak if it's a serious stain, then wash it. Otherwise I throw a scoop in the laundry if the clothes are prone to being stained. It's a miracle. With all this baby poop going on,  I was getting frustrated because the powder in the machine wasn't enough to get it out and I wasn't about to hand scrub each little thing (ah! no time!) so I found this sprayer version and you just spray it on the stain and throw it in the wash and voila! NO baby poop stains. NO deodorant stains. NO anything stains! Yippee! I get the baby version now because it's dye/fragrance free, but it works just like the original. Happy stain removal!

I don't mean to make this an all-baby post, but these are the most used items that come to my mind. Most people get a Pack n Play for their baby to nap in and to use as a crib when they travel. We have a small apartment and PnPs are HUGE, way to bulky for us. Well Graco makes this 'Light' version (don't we all love things light? :) that is much smaller but completely big enough for baby. It's called the Graco Travel Lite Crib. We love it. When we travelled to Atlanta, we stayed in bedrooms where a regular size PnP play would never have fit, but this travel one fit everywhere, right next to our bed. It also doesn't take up much room in the trunk. The colors are pretty. And it doens't have those extra bassinet features which we found unnecessary and too bulky anyway. We did toss the little sun shade thing because it was easier to not have to use it and it didn't serve much purpose. I highly recommend.

This post is a To Be Continued post... I encourage my other bloggers to write a favorite post (mostly for me, I'm selfish) because I get so many great ideas from you!

May 9, 2011

One Month

Better late than never!

Fun happenings on the Anna front this month: weighing about 7 pounds (gaining weight fast) and graduating from premie size to newborn size, she has finally gained some baby 'chub', probably because she eats all the time which is good for her but makes it hard for her Mama to do much of anything! She has slate gray eyes and brown hair in the back that has taken on a male-pattern baldness appearance; we are anxious to see what her actual eye and hair color will be. She recently debuted her first real (non-flatulence-induced) smile, is making eye contact with Mama and Daddy, has some seriously strong head and neck muscle control, is VERY alert, doesn't sleep much during the day, and had her first road trip.

but my dove, my perfect one,
is unique,
the only daughter of her mother,
the favorite one of the one who bore her...
(Song of Songs 6:9)